The House Democrat in charge of making sure the party retains control of the chamber after next year’s midterm elections is warning that a course correction is needed or they could find themselves the minority again — with current polling showing the Democrats would lose the majority if elections were held now.
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told a closed-door lunch last week that if the midterms were held now, Republicans would win control of the House, Politico reported Tuesday.
Maloney (D-NY) advised the gathering that Democrats have to embrace and promote President Biden’s agenda because it registers with swing voters.
“We are not afraid of this data … We’re not trying to hide this,” Tim Persico, executive director of the Maloney-chaired DCC, told Politico in an interview.
“If [Democrats] use it, we’re going to hold the House. That’s what this data tells us, but we gotta get in action,” Persico said.
Maloney, in an interview with NPR, said issues like climate change, infrastructure, the expanded child tax credits, immigration policies and election reforms will attract voters next fall.
“We’re making a bet on substance,” Maloney said. “What’s the old saying — any jackass can kick down a barn, it takes a carpenter to build one. It’s harder to build it than to kick it down. And so we’re the party that’s going to build the future.”
Maloney’s dire warning failed to surprise some Democrats who have been sounding similar alarms.
Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) told her colleagues that they have to tout the work they are doing to restore the economy from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re not breaking through,” Dingell said at the meeting of about 50 Democrats, Politico reported.
She said people in her home state vented to her that Democrats weren’t doing enough to lift the economy in Michigan, including the auto industry.
The report said Democratic leaders launched a messaging campaign with help from the White House communications office that will land in the states while lawmakers are in their home districts during August recess.
And the Biden White House is dispatching Cabinet members to promote jobs and the infrastructure deal in key swing districts in Iowa, New York and New Jersey.
“The point is, to make sure that we’re all on the same page, that we understand the stakes,” Persico said. “Here’s the good news: Everything we are doing and everything we’ve talked about doing is incredibly popular.”
But Republicans only need to pick up five seats in the midterms to gain a majority in the House, and a July poll commissioned by the DCCC found a Democratic candidate trailing a Republican by six points in a generic poll in swing districts, the report said.
“The polling looked pretty dismal to me,” one Democratic member who attended the briefing told Politico.